Word of mouth has always been the best marketing a brand can get—nothing beats authentic advocacy from the people you trust the most: family and friends. So the real achievement for brand marketers is to get regular consumers to do the talking for them—online, offline, social media, dinner talk, smoke signals, it all works.
Which brands are leaders in generating jabber among these frontline crusaders? Social intelligence firm Engagement Labs honors the most talkworthy marketing campaigns online and offline every year, and just announced its 2019 TotalSocial Brand Awards winners.
PlayStation, the video game console, and AARP, the advocacy organization for the 50+ population, grabbed the top spots of the brands most successful in driving consumer conversations with advertising and marketing. PlayStation bested in social sway for online (via social media) and AARP for the role of paid and owned media in driving offline buzz (primarily via face-to-face conversations).
Nintendo stands out among 600+ brands as the only one to place in the top 10 both offline and online. Nintendo moved from third to second place for the most talkworthy marketing campaigns online, while Nintendo Switch ranked number 9 for offline brand sharing. Driving the brand’s charge to the top of 2019 were its kickoff marketing of Animal Crossing, successful sales of video games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon Sword, to eSports tournaments and events.
Advertising and marketing is a great conversation starter
It reminds people why they like the brand, or what is new and worth checking, thus providing a trigger for conversations and recommendations. Media and marketing plays a significant role in driving conversation, which in turns play a crucial role in the decision-making process, driving an estimated 19 percent of purchases, according to the firm’s analytics published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. About half that impact comes from offline conversation and the other half from social media—making it important for brands to master both.
PlayStation launched the ‘It’s Time to Play’ campaign in 2019, which led it to the top spot in the online ranking for two years in a row and coincides as the most popular video game console. On its heels are its competitors, Nintendo and third-place winner Xbox.
“PlayStation and the video game industry understand how passionate their fans and gamers can be. They incorporate incredible stories through their games and translates well into their advertising and marketing. Our ‘Online Brand Sharing’ metric is a test of the shareability of content online,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs, in a news release. “Compelling and buzzworthy ads and marketing make a big difference and a much-needed competitive edge for brands in an increasingly tight market.”
AARP jumped to the number one spot of the offline brand sharing this year with “Saving for Retirement” campaign with Ad Council, and various ad campaigns including the organization’s prescription drug related advocacy. Runner up for second place for offline brand sharing is AVON, the beauty brand and one of the world’s largest funders of causes that are critical to women’s rights. AVON with an army of more than 200,000 sales representatives in the US are also its brand ambassadors and marketers.
“Given the close relationship between consumer conversations and sales, brands’ strong incentive to create ‘talkable’ and ‘shareable’ campaigns is important to make sure your passionate advocates are armed with the latest content to share with others,” said Steven Brown, president of Engagement Labs, in the release. “AARP, AVON and GEICO are examples of brands that are extremely effective at generating conversations with their advertising, and this is a key factor in their success in the marketplace.”
*Categories included automotive, beauty and personal care, beverages (alcohol and non-alcoholic), children’s products, consumer packaged goods, dining, financial services, food, health, household products, retail and apparel, supermarkets and grocery stores, technology, and telecom.